Thursday, December 20, 2012

And For My *Next* Obsession...

With the rousing success of the Savage Model 10 and my new York Arms Conspirator, I felt it was time to investigate one more precision rifle venue: a high-end .22LR rifle. After consistently hitting a steel gong with a Marlin model 60 at 200 yards, I had to re-think long distance shooting with the .22LR cartridge. Even with bulk Federal ammunition I was able to ring an 18" gong at 200 yards - no difficult feat with a custom AR-15 in  .223 Remington with 20X Leupold scope; considerably more challenging with a Marlin model 60 with a fixed 4X power BSA scope.

Now, there are many options, but three of the most promising contenders are:

Savage Mark II (picture from manufacturer's website).

Now, I've got a Model 10 and have found it to be supremely accurate even with bargain optics. I have no reason to suspect that their higher end rimfire rifles wouldn't be equally accurate, and with a significantly lower cost per round (even high end .22LR doesn't even come close to middle-of-the-road .308 Winchester), it's something I could shoot quite a bit more than the centerfire version. MSRP on the rifle is $445, so I'd expect it to retail somewhere in the upper $300s.

Ruger 10/22 Target (picture from manufacturer's website).

The 10/22 Target has an obvious advantage in that I've already got a ton of 10/22 magazines - it's one less additional purchase to make. I'm also familiar with the action and breakdown, and there are a zillion aftermarket parts should I want to customize the rifle further. It's a semi-auto and I'm leaning towards bolt action (so maybe a 77/22 instead?), but it's definitely in the running. MSRP on the Target model is $499, so it'd run somewhere in the lower $400s off the shelf.

CZ455 Varmint (picture from manufacturer's website).

I've heard nothing but good things about the CZ line of rifles, and their rimfire rifles are rumored to be supremely accurate. I've had no experience with their rifles, which is both a plus (something new) and a minus (I'm familiar with Savage and Ruger, frex). It's a traditional bolt-action rifle, with a lovely walnut stock and blued finish - it'd be a change from the tactical flavor of recent rifles.MSRP on the CZ455 is $483, so it'd come in somewhere between the Savage and the Ruger.

Now, I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of other rifles here. Marlin offers the new XT-22 model line, complete with a heavy barrel version. Browning offers the T-Bolt Varmint/Target, also with a heavy barrel.  There are any number of options I'm  not even thinking of right now, to be sure, and I'll probably kick myself for missing them once they've been suggested. The three listed above, though, are the models that have come up repeatedly as accurate rimfire rifles, and any of the three would be a lot of fun to outfit with a good rimfire scope and test out on the 100 yard range.

And for CZ and Savage, I've never had one of your fine rifles for T&E - just sayin'...

That is all.


Weer'd Beard said...

I've shot the CZs and they are AMAZING.

Still I'm really impressed with Savage these days, and they're made right here in Mass....

Will said...

I have Savage Mark II without the accutrigger, just a basic model and it's amazingly accurate. I can only imagine what a model with a heavy barrel and a good optic can do. I can hit small fragments of clay pigeons beyond 100 yards with a Centerpoint 3-9x.

Mopar said...

My stepson has the CZ452, and yes, it's amazing out of the box. Which is good I guess, because there is not much out there in the way of upgrades. Even the scope mount was a hassle since it's a Euro style base (11mm I think?) instead of a standard Weaver.
Can't comment on the Savage other then I've heard nothing but good, but again like the CZ there is not much available if you want to upgrade.
That brings us to the 10/22. You already know they are decent shooters out of the box, but the huge plus here is the aftermarket. Just like there are plenty of "tacticool" upgrades, the sky's the limit on how far and how much $$$ you want to spend on precision upgrades. Personally, that would be (and was, actually) the way I would go, except I would just start with the $200 base model. Changing the barrel and the stock are both simple mods, and for not much more then you would spend anyway for the target model you will get something even better.

Mopar said...

Oh, and 10 round mags for the Savage and the CZ both run around $25 each, compared to 1/2 that for the Ruger. And they are harder to find.

Ancient Woodsman said...

Savage. I've got an older, store-branded "Springfield" made by Savage - about as cheap a .22 as one could get, but we weren't well off and Dad decided that I needed a .22. He got that it used at the local gas station/post office/general store for $35.00. It wore a 4x Leupold rimfire for about 20 years and now sports their 2-7x rimfire; the scope cost 640% more than the rifle and frankly, it's worth it.

I'm not sure how they do it consistently over the years, but dollar for dollar the
Savage rifle in most categories seems to shoot rings around the competition.

I've had Marlin & Ruger target .22s over the years and still have a cheap 10/22, but for precision .22 work that cheap old Savage does the trick. It would be the very last firearm I'd ever get rid of; I hope my grandchildren will enjoy it someday.

Ancient Woodsman said...

BTW I don't work for nor have any interest in Savage and don't know anyone who does, fwiw.

Carl B said...

I have the savage same as the one in your picture except in .17 HMR. I love it... I regularly roll prairie dogs at 150-200 yards with it. So far have put approx 2000 rounds thru it (all but maybe 100 at prairie dogs) over the last 2 seasons of shooting with no problems at all.

Dave H said...

I have the bottom-end Mark II and I haven't found it difficult to find magazines, although my local Dick's generally only stocks 5 rounders. I get 10 round mags at the local Gander Mountain.

Nothing I've ever done could be described as precision shooting, so I can't recommend one rifle over the other. I'll offer one caution though: you may want to look around the 'net for remarks on Marlin build quality if you decide to pursue the XT-22. After they were acquired by Remington they had some quality issues with at least some models. I bought a new Marlin 1895 last year that was pretty clunky. I don't know if that applies to other models, but it doesn't cost much to ask around.

ASM826 said...

Savage also makes a series of package models. The Mark II FVXP is the one I settled on. Comes with scope already mounted and boresighted. MSRP is $290. Also available in stainless.

I spent some time trying various ammo selections and settled on Wolf Gold Medal Match. I think if the rifle was mounted to the bench it would run them all through the same hole at 50 yards.

.45ACP+P said...

I have a Savage 93 in .17HRM that shoots like a laser beam. The Accu-Trigger is really good. I have several CZs and love them. Somehow, I do not own a 10-22 and have no passion for getting one.

Heath J said...

Cz. I've got two 452's. On right handed and a lefty for the wife. They ARE accurate.

I've got my eyes on a .17 hmr, if i can get the guy to part with it

Bubblehead Les. said...

Get the CZ, just in case the new AWB does come to pass and the Ruger 10/22 goes on the Banned list.

Anonymous said...

Some Appleseed info:

The two Savage M10s I saw both experienced breach pitting. On of them is now retired. Beautiful and precise rifle.

My CZ 453 earned multiple rifleman badges and requires an occasional set trigger re-adjustement. Overall maintenance and cleaning for this rifle I loan out is dramatically less than my Marlin 70, despite a higher round count. The only problem is with an oddball (older European) metal 10 round magazine. Supremely accurate and completely trouble free. mags are expensive, but I find them easier to load than the rotary variety.

The Target Ruger is a Ruger. In capable hands it performed flawlessly. Tiny cloverleafs, with occasional jams. All weekend long. Requires occasional screw tightening. I know you said target, but whatever you do, do not be tempted by the takedown version. I saw two, neither of which would come apart after a few hundred rounds.

All this is based on a couple of years of 1000 round weekends shooting at 25 yards.

Anonymous said...

I have a couple of 10/22s.
Just picked up a used 77/22
recently. It shoots well with CCI Mini Mags and Federal 36 grain plated HPs. Not bad with loss leader Remingiton ammo either.

Haven't shot it past 50 yards yet.
Deer season and a bad fall cold
got in the way. Next spring, after
I put on another scope it should
be intresting.

Anonymous said...

The 77/22 was the first rifle that I bought. The 10/22 was the fourth or fifth. Both are excellent.

The magazings for these rifles are not the same. The 77/22 has a flat bottom, the 10/22 has a rounded bottom.

You can use one in another but the fit is not the best.

ZerCool said...

FarmDad will, of course, push the CZ.

Me, I'm a Savage guy. I've got a MkII BTVS (laminate thumbhole stock, stainless heavy barrel) in the safe that is disgustingly accurate. Same for the Model 93 in .17HMR...

My biggest gripe about the Savages is how far the 10-round mags stick down out of the stock; I actually prefer the 5-rounders for most things. Otherwise ... they're tough to beat for value.